Illinois COVID cases: IL reports 6,658 new cases, 14 deaths

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 6,658 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 14 related deaths Wednesday.

There have been 1,867,912 total COVID cases, including 26,712 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

The seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 5.5%.

SEE ALSO: All vaccinated adults should get COVID-19 booster shot because of omicron variant, CDC says

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 197,555 new specimens for a total of 40,435,345 since the pandemic began.

As of Tuesday night, 3,105 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 641 patients were in the ICU and 284 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

A total of 17,850,055 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Tuesday, and 58.95% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 71,745.

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Infections disease expert Dr. Robert Citronberg from Advocate Aurora Health discuses the omicron variant.



With the appearance of the omicron variant in the Chicago area and the rise in numbers of cases related to the delta variant, vaccine clinics are getting lots of business again from patients trying to protect themselves before holiday gatherings.

"I feel the risk is much higher than last year," said Dr. Jonathan Pinsky, who specializes in infectious diseases at Edward Hospital. "It's a different virus and the unvaccinated are at a much higher risk."

At Edward Hospital in Naperville, they are seeing the highest number of COVID patients since last winter. While there is much doctors are still learning about the omicron variant, they do know it is proving to be very easily and quickly transmissible. They also know the vaccine provides some protection against severe symptoms.

DuPage County health officials say 70 percent of their residents are fully vaccinated.

"Over 96% of the hospitalizations we've seen in DuPage are people not fully vaccinated," said Chris Hoff, DuPage County Health Dept.

While the symptoms of the omicron variant are generally proving to be more mild, health officials remain concerned.

In addition to the vaccine, health officials say the best ways to protect against the new variant are the old ways we've been hearing about all along: wearing masks and avoiding crowds.
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